Evans Funeral Home

"Compassionate Funeral Service"

Carrington and New Rockford, North Dakota
701.652.3003 or 701.947.2911

Secondary Number ~ 701.650.9937

Lavon Lawrence

Lavon Emma (Stokes) Lawrence, age 83, peacefully departed on November 11, 2023, in Carrington, ND surrounded by two of her daughters. Lavon was born May 8, 1940, to Erling and Erma (Helm) Stokes in Cathay, ND.

Lavon graduated from Carrington High School in 1958. There she participated in various school clubs including baton twirling, as well as performed in the Rainbow Rollercade Review. As a teenager, Lavon lost her hearing, but this did not hold her back as she learned to lip read extremely well and it seemed to have heightened her other senses as well. She had profound empathy and routinely stood up for those who were less fortunate. She did not want anyone to feel less than others. She started college at the University of North Dakota – Grand Forks and transferred to North Dakota State University, where she was a member of the Phi Mu sorority.

Lavon married Anupam Banerji in 1962 and eventually relocated from Fargo to Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. In 1977, Lavon married Cletus James Lawrence of St. Michaels, ND and they eventually settled in a log house on the Stokes farm in Carrington, ND, where she resided until her passing.

Lavon lived her life on her terms regardless of others and believed strongly in fulfilling one’s personal Truth. She was an avid reader of all books, especially of Faith and philosophy. Lavon wanted to learn about all cultures and often hosted folks from other countries embracing their uniqueness.

Lavon became immersed in East Indian culture after visiting India in 1963. She found the Baha’i Faith in the 1960s and spent the rest of her life bringing the Word to everyone she encountered. Lavon lived her life with a strong sense of Unity for All and if anyone was in need, Lavon responded without a second thought.

Lavon was a storyteller. She loved to bring her vast experiences to life through detailed accounts of her many unique encounters with people from across the globe. She adored Mexico, and she became “god mother” to numerous Mayan children over the 20 years she visited Quintana Roo, Mexico. She also “adopted” a Mexican son, Gonzalo Chavez of Mexico City, MX who remains close to Lavon’s family.

Lavon instilled in her children to be kind and helpful to all. She enjoyed lively discussions about anything, spending time with family and yearly visits to Playa del Carmen.
Lavon is preceded in death by her parents, Erling and Erma Stokes and her brother, Douglas Stokes. She is survived by her siblings, Charlene Haertel and Kim Stokes. She is also survived by her 6 children, Gail Arne of Breezy Point, MN; Robi Banerji, Anjana Banerji, and Arun Banerji all of Ontario, Canada; Lavina Martinez and Hunter Short Bear of Carrington, ND, as well as her five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the family at 101 4th Avenue South, Carrington, ND 58421.


A Private Graveside Service was held Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at the Carrington Cemetery. Lavon’s Celebration of Life Open House will be held Saturday, November 25, 2023, from 10:00AM – 4:00PM at the Chieftain, Carrington, ND.


Posted Condolences:


  1. I’m so sorry. I loved Lavon and was honored to call her my friend. We went on so many fun and wild adventures and will always remember those times as some as my precious memories of her. I will miss her so much and I am truly sorry to hear of her passing. Sending love and strength to her family that meant the world to her.

  2. So sorry to hear of Lavon’s passing. I just remember her many smiles and laughs when we would visit. Sending our thoughts and prayers to the whole family.

  3. Lavon had a very kind and thoughtful heart for helping people! I remember sitting in my patrol vehicle doing traffic control over the lunch hour and she walked across the highway and offered to bring me lunch! Thank you for wonderful memories! You will be missed!

  4. Lavon is one of the best women I have ever met. We hit it off immediately within 2 seconds after meeting each other and she was like a second mom to me. I’m sure she was a second mom to almost everyone because she just had that kind of heart. I will always remember her deep spirituality which was ahead of its time. I’m not surprised that she graduated life probably with honors and an A+… She’s probably an ascended master now and will look over us all forever. I’m glad she is at peace and I am honored to have met her and will love her forever ♥️

  5. Gail, so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you didn’t fall far from the tree, she sounds like a fabulous woman. Sending love to you dear friend and to your family!❤️

  6. The greatest hockey Mom, Robi often spoke fondly to me about how his Mom the driver, host, caregiver, and number#1 Fan for Robi and his team mates for the Waterloo Wolves. My condolences to the family from Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. RIP Mrs Banerji.

    Jeff Donkers

  7. I worked with Lavon at HFV. she had love, compassion, and empathy for everyone. I loved listening to her stories. She appreciated any advise. After she got a different car from Bessettes, she would stop in to visit. She loved her family and friends.

  8. I am just hearing the departure of Levon. I am all the way in Ethiopia Africa.
    Levon was always spiritual, very advanced. She wes insightful, and quite psychic and intuitive.
    The first time I met her. I thought she was my sister and my mom and we spent many hours just talking about spiritual things and she was very knowledgeable.

    Levon and Cletus used to run a sweat lodge in Carrington in 1990 all the way through 1997 that I used to go into the sweat lodge and many other people would come to for healing for people and pray for other people. I can tell you it was Powerful and wonderful.
    I could’ve never graduated in the Architecture if it wasn’t for the sweat lodge and prayers.
    The long discussions of spiritual life, and the way you live, she taught me many things. I am so grateful and I use them in my life every day.
    Have a safe journey dear Loved Ones and I’ll see you again.
    Keep us in your prayers. Blessings to you safe journey.😔🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽❤️


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